Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Could a 51-49 vote retire the Senate filibuster rule?

Tom Geoghegan stated on a local video interview that the Senate could retire the filibuster rule anytime it wished on a 51-49 vote (he didn't say if the vote might need to outlast a filibuster).

If so, shouldn't it be any Democratic administration's first priority?

If it would need to outlast a filibuster, couldn't Obama at some point in the legislative year do and "LBJ" -- who outlasted an 83 day filibuster to push through the 1964 Federal Civil Rights Act? I suppose there would be a lot less fanatic resistance now than in 1964 -- just need to tweak a vote or two.


The worst is, as Geoghegan pointed out in his book, that 16% of voters send 50 senators to Washington -- and 10% supply enough senators for a filibuster. He further laments in his book that getting rid of the Senate would take a two-thirds vote of the Senate -- making it impossible.

I would be willing to see the states with the other 82% of voters secede from the union -- make a new constitution without a Senate -- and then ("manifest destiny!") "conquer" the the states with the remaining 18%. "When in the course of human events... " :-)

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